It’s a war out there, we all know it. Sunday was no exception, a pleasant sunny morning despite the usual inconsiderate driving and abuse courtesy of the great British motorist. After four decades spent riding you become hardened to this idiotic behaviour; if it continually upset you, you simply wouldn’t go out.

But this ride was different. Several of the worst incidents were caused by other cyclists. Morons in cars I have grown to accept, but inconsiderate idiots on bikes are quite a separate matter.

Maybe we’ve reached a point where many of the worse drivers have simply swapped to two wheels. A matter of: ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’ Or is it even a case of infiltration? Are we being attacked from within?

Whatever the reason, the rise of the rubbish rider is a step too far. Fancy being forced off the road by a group riding five abreast towards you on a narrow lane? Or how about having your front wheel clipped by a rider who pulls in too soon after he overtakes?

Bad riding can be contributed to inexperience but you don’t have to be a genius to know to allow enough room for an oncoming rider to pass or not to cut in suddenly when passing.

It wasn’t all bad news at the weekend. I spent several enjoyable miles tagged on to the back of a Kingston Wheelers club run. You couldn’t wish for a more organised, courteous group, the perfect example of how to behave on the roads.

There’s much to be said for being a member of a traditional cycling club. So many of today’s newbie riders would certainly benefit from the experience.

This article was first published in the September 5 2013 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!

  • Hawick Balls

    Couldn’t agree with you more as to the growing number of inconsiderate idiots on bikes!

    Whilst driving on a country lane in Hertfordshire last weekend I was met with three cyclists riding abreast, they would not fall in behind each other to allow cars to pass and when oncoming traffic did stop for them, there was no acknowledgement from these cyclists.

    Thankfully there were other cyclists on the roads who could not have been more courteous to other road users.

  • norman saxby

    If a rule was made that all sportiv riders should belong to properley registered clubs it might help to enable struggling clubs to survive. Or maybe they would form their own clubs and still ride around ignoring everyone and not acting in the spirit of true clubmen. Norman Saxby

  • ianfranklin

    Robert: This is the new breed of cyclists you are talking about.
    Those that think Sportives are races.
    Those that have no experience of club life (along with their time trials)
    Those who think it’s ok to sit on tri-bars in a bunch or sportive.
    Those who ride past or towards you without a greeting or gesture.
    Those who think riding past your club run 10k an hour faster than your group is riding, without any acknowedgement is an OK practice.
    Hello sportive riders! Hello triathlon geeks!

  • bmx bandit

    Did my first sportive at Malvern on Sunday – scarey number of cyclists riding dangerously with no idea how to ride in a group, or behave when cars and cyclists around. Amazed Chris Boardman dared ride amongst them. Very few club jerseys – maybe Cycling needs to get ukcycling to include some more advice videos on how to ride sensibly